With the great advancements in technology in the last decade, inspection tools are becoming more automated, digital, reliable, portable and faster—with an emphasis on software integration so maintenance teams can receive real-time data on what needs to be fixed. Below are some inspection tools that can help reduce aircraft downtime and eliminate extra work through multi-system integration.
1. Inspecting Hail Impact
Company: AFI KLM E&M
Product: 3-D Scanner
Specifications: After an aircraft experiences hail impact on its fuselage, it must undergo an inspection to check the level of damage. This process is traditionally manual and involves taking exact measurements of each dent. To reduce the time spent on these inspections, AFI KLM E&M developed a hand-held 3-D scanner. The scanner connects to a computer and is able to analyze the surface of aircraft and then display real-time 3-D images of any damage. The images are analyzed using specialized software that automatically detects any dent outside tolerance limits. The software then generates a technical report that can be exported in a variety of formats including Excel, PDF and CAD.
2. Multipoint Measuring Videoscope
Company: Karl Storz
Specifications: Karl Storz’s new 4.4-mm-dia. videoscope incorporates a multipoint laser measuring system used for remote visual inspections. The “See & Measure” feature offers the ability to inspect aircraft and is equipped with a full-screen, full- resolution view. The measurement tool analyzes height, length, area, reference points and depth of defects. Fully resistant to vibrations, the system measures from any videoscope angle of view, and features a short rigid end with a 140-deg. four-way articulation (which can be used to measure small radiuses). Its patented “click4move” control offers real-time steering with an integral lock feature.
3. Digital Processor
Product: Scope with HD Video Recording
Specifications: The combination of the scope and processor with the DPU 7-7070 from Machida includes the capability to produce photos, video recording in high-definition, zoom features and portable image archiving. The DPU 7-7070 digital processing unit, which can be paired with any of Machida’s scopes, allows portable image and video recording with independent vertical and horizontal operation control. The unit comes in a portable case and is able to freeze-frame with picture-in-picture live images.
4. UV LED Flashlight
Product: Optimax 365
Specifications: Spectroline’s UV LED Flashlight, Optimax 365, is a cordless, rechargeable light that helps identify leaks. When used with Spectroline’s fluorescent dyes, workers can easily see where current or possible leaks can occur including cracks in hydraulic systems, lubrication systems and water storage tanks. The flashlight provides 90 min. of inspection time between charges and the LED lifetime is 30,000 hr. The Optimax 365 comes with UV-absorbing glasses, belt holster and smart AC and DC battery chargers.
5. Bond Testing C-Scan
Product: OmniScan MX ECA/CT
Specifications: The bond-testing OmniScan solution from Olympus is a portable easy-to-read C-scan imagery system for composite inspection. The tool is used for disband detection in honeycomb composites and delamination detection. Designed to support pitch-catch probes, the OmniScan can drive up to eight different frequencies simultaneously and uses a 0-360 deg. color palette to display changes, making it easy to identify different types of indications of delaminations.
6. Flash Heating Analysis
Company: ThermoScope 3
Product: Thermographic Signal Reconstruction
Specifications: The portable ThermoScope 3 from Thermal Wave Imaging (TWI) combines flash heating, image acquisition and analysis in one system. The automatic inspection allows for on-the-spot decisions and is compatible with IR cameras. Integrated with TWI’s MOSAIQ and EchoTherm software, the tool offers real-time inspection and requires a single operator to perform non-contact NDT evaluations.